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Lech Walesa

June 26, 1989
Poland's Communist-led trade unions demanded a price freeze until a new government is formed, saying public upheavals are likely if the cost of living keeps rising, the official PAP news agency reported. Authorities raised gasoline prices 40% and announced that an 83% boost in cigarette prices will take effect today. A series of stiff increases last week included sugar (66%), liquor (50%), refrigerators (67%) and washing machines (37%). Lech Walesa, leader of the independent trade union Solidarity, was in rare agreement with the government-backed unions.
October 28, 2013 | Times wire reports
Tadeusz Mazowiecki, 86, Eastern Europe's first democratic prime minister after communism, a key advisor to Poland's Solidarity freedom movement and U.N. human rights envoy to Bosnia in the 1990s, died Monday in Warsaw after being hospitalized for a high fever, said his personal secretary, Michal Prochwicz. In August 1980, Mazowiecki joined thousands of workers on strike at the Gdansk Shipyard. Within days, their action grew into a massive wave of strikes that gave birth to Solidarity - Eastern Europe's first free trade union and a nationwide freedom movement - led by a charismatic shipyard electrician, Lech Walesa, whose name quickly became known around the globe.
June 17, 1988
Sol Saks states that Lech Walesa is a "communist, a militant unionist, and a sharp critic of his government," (letter, May 29) and hence an ironic hero for us Americans. His observation is misleading. Since 1949, the Communist Party has governed Poland. The party is a foreign imposition that does not represent the Polish people. Its legitimacy is based solely upon force. Thus, it is inaccurate to label Walesa a communist. Walesa is a Pole who is striving to protect the history and religion of his nation.
July 30, 2012 | By Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta
GDANSK, Poland- In a visit meant as much for domestic consumption as international, Mitt Romney arrived in Poland on Monday to accept the endorsement of the country's former president, Lech Walesa. Walesa, the co-founder of the Solidarity labor movement, had invited Romney to his country and lauded him through a translator. "Poland and many other countries will certainly do their best for the United States to restore its leadership position," Walesa said through a translator. "And after our conversation, I'm quite confident that you will be successful in doing that.
October 5, 1989 | From Reuters
Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity union movement, will travel to Chile later this month to try to secure freedom for two Chilean labor leaders, an opposition newspaper reported Tuesday. Quoting a statement released in Rome by the International Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations, La Epoca said Walesa would visit Chile from Oct. 26-28.
December 4, 1989 | From United Press International
Lech Walesa, the leader of Poland's Solidarity union, will be the subject of a major movie, Warner Bros. announced today. Warner Bros. said the Polish electrician, who emerged during the Gdansk shipyard strike in 1980 and became a symbol of the move toward democracy in Eastern Europe, agreed to the movie deal during his five-day visit to Britain, which ended Sunday. A Warner Bros. spokesman refused to disclose the price of rights and other details. Walesa completed negotiations with Warner Bros.
January 4, 1990 | Reuters
Lech Walesa gave away his Nobel Peace Prize money today to help relieve the economic hardships facing the Polish people in 1990. Walesa, who won the prize in 1983 for his role in creating the Solidarity trade union, said he was giving the $200,000 to a National Gift Fund set up to provide emergency help for health services, social welfare and education.
November 18, 1989 | STEVE WEINSTEIN
As usual during those infamous ratings sweeps, it is the best of times and the worst of times on television this weekend. While Lech Walesa visits the United States, the three major networks and PBS trot out some of their heaviest ammunition in the battle for ratings. Walesa will appear with CNN journalists Charles Bierbauer and Ralph Begleiter on "Newsmaker Saturday" today at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile, "Sunday Morning" reports on Walesa's life history and his U.S.
November 1, 1994 | Dean E. Murphy
W ith a year to go before the Polish presidential elections, President Lech Walesa has kicked into a campaign mode. Ranked in recent popularity polls below former Polish Communist boss Gen.
May 16, 1988 | CHARLES T. POWERS, Times Staff Writer
He has gained weight, and there is more gray in the once-ginger-colored mustache. He complains sometimes of back problems and has been having trouble with his blood sugar, so he watches his diet to avoid spells of weakness. But as events of the last two weeks in Poland have proved, Lech Walesa is alive and kicking.
October 26, 2010 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Increasing the pressure on China, a star-studded group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates have signed an open letter calling for the world's leading economies to lobby Chinese President Hu Jintao for the release of dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, recipient of this year's award. The letter released Monday by Liu's U.S. lawyers was written at the initiative of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and signed by, among others, former Polish President Lech Walesa, former U.S. President Carter and the Dalai Lama ?
April 11, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died Satuday in a plane crash in Russia, was a fervent Catholic who battled communism during the Cold War and matured into a staunchly conservative politician. Kaczynski and his identical twin, Jaroslaw, rose to the top of Polish politics in 2005 when their Law and Justice Party swept to power. With Lech as president and his brother as prime minister, the snowy-haired siblings with boyish faces led their country to the right. Despite Poland's membership in the European Union, Lech Kaczynski was adamant that Warsaw not become entangled in continental politics and bureaucracy.
August 23, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Former Polish President Lech Walesa said he had quit Solidarity, the trade union he founded that helped bring the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said he had opposed Solidarity's decision to support the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party in elections last year. Solidarity leaders said Walesa officially had not been a member since January because he had not paid his annual dues.
November 17, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Poland's historical institute cleared Solidarity founder and former President Lech Walesa of allegations that he collaborated with the communist-era secret police, formally declaring him a victim of the feared intelligence apparatus. In 2000, a court cleared Walesa of collaboration with authorities during Poland's communist era.
August 8, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
AND FINALLY... * Lech Walesa, who once turned down a U.S. razor company's million-dollar offer to shave his trademark drooping walrus mustache for an ad campaign, has at last taken a razor to his upper lip. But he's not happy with the results. "I wanted to cause a bit of a fuss over the summer holidays, but my wife, Danuta, and I realized it wasn't a good idea," said the former leader of the Solidarity trade union that toppled the country's Communist regime.
Many of the world's Nobel Peace Prize laureates met here Thursday along with leading international scholars to discuss the ambitious topic of how to achieve peace in the 21st century. The three-day symposium began with the feel of a reunion among old friends. The Dalai Lama greeted acquaintances with his trademark mellow laugh. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu cheerfully bounced from one laureate to another, greeting as many as he could before the opening session began.
September 27, 1992 | ROGER BOYES, Boyes, East Europe correspondent of the London Times since 1981, is completing a biography of Lech Walesa for Times Books (a subsidiary of Random House) in New York and Secker and Warburg in London
The original English use of the word "revolution"--before it was expropriated by American and French rebels--suggests a turning back, a rotation, the movement of a wheel to its earlier position. Poland's Solidarity revolution may have been just such a shift, as conservative as it was radical. Those flushed, overalled strikers in August 1980 were not only rejecting a corrupt version of communism, they were clamoring for the rebirth of history suppressed during five decades of totalitarian rule.
October 14, 1990 | Adrian Karatnycky, Adrian Karatnycky, director of research in the AFL-CIO International Affairs Department, is co-author, with Nadia Diuk, of "The Hidden Nations: The People Challenge the Soviet Union" (William Morrow). Walesa was interviewed a few hundred yards from the wall of the Lenin shipyard he climbed 10 years ago to lead the strike against the government
Lech Walesa, who helped launch the democratic revolution that reshaped the political map of Eastern and Central Europe, has a new mission. After more than a year on the sidelines, the Solidarity chairman has returned to the center of his country's tumultuous political life by announcing his candidacy for the presidency.
The recent revelation that an alleged gang leader on the lam once received a pardon from former President Lech Walesa has triggered a wave of controversy in Poland about this common presidential prerogative. No one has accused Walesa of wrongdoing. But there have been allegations that one or more of his aides might have been bribed to prepare the paperwork for the 1993 pardon of Andrzej Zielinski.
Marking the 20th anniversary of Solidarity's birth, many key figures from the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc gathered here Wednesday to celebrate their victory over communism and to ponder the future. "We changed the face of this world," Lech Walesa, the onetime Lenin Shipyard electrician who won a Nobel Prize and served as Poland's president, told a special Solidarity congress. "We carried freedom to many countries, and we got freedom ourselves.
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